The developers behind the Oakville Triangle redevelopment say the project has been dramatically reshaped by the decline of brick-and-mortar retail.
Early designs for the project were of a predominately retail district set up across several blocks near Mount Jefferson Park, but Doug Firstenberg, a principal with development investment firm Stonebridge, said in a video that the 13-acre project near Potomac Yard is being reshaped.
“The original design for the Oakville Project was going to include exclusive retail near Mount Jefferson Park,” Fistenberg said. “So what’s changed? The retail world changed a few years ago and it’s, unfortunately, changing again.”
Firstenberg said the idea of a predominately retail district isn’t economically feasible. Now, neighborhood-serving retail will be focused on the new buildings facing Richmond Highway. A hotel that was also planned for the site has also been scrapped.
Instead, a large section of the development at the western end of the site will be replaced with townhouses and the area will be the site of a new Inova HealthPlex.
“The HealthPlex is a standalone emergency room with other complementary standalone services,” said Dr. Rina Bansal, President and CEO of Inova Alexandria.
Bansal said the HealthPlex will feature a full-service emergency room, surgery center, and medical office space. The site is designed for outpatient care only, meaning patients cannot stay for more than 23 hours.
One of the local benefits of the change is a 34,000 square-foot expansion of Mount Jefferson Park. Firstenberg said early community feedback indicated that the park was viewed as a crucial community resource and expansion of that was prioritized.
Firstenberg said the developer is targeting Planning Commission and City Council review in November for the small area plan and the first quarter of next year for a special use permit. Firstenberg said that timeline is important to keep the project on track for summer 2021 construction and opening in the third and fourth quarters of 2023.
A press release noted that feedback can be submitted through the project website.